Grace Bomu

Author Archives: Grace Bomu

Making the Case for Community Networks at Africa IGF

Who supplies your Internet? If you live in urban Africa, you probably get Internet access through your mobile phone or through fibre at the office or home. When you travel to rural or underserved areas, there is probably limited or no Internet because mobile network operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have yet to reach these areas. But what if people in rural and underserved areas could build their own networks to provide the telecommunications services that they need?

This notion has been tried successfully in several African countries. In Kenya, Tunapanda Institute has built TunapandaNET a wireless network connecting schools and youth centres in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. Bosco is a solar-powered wireless network that connects community ICT centres in Gulu, Northern Uganda. PamojaNet operates a wireless network to the community in Idjwi Island on lake Kivu, Eastern DRC, close to the border with Rwanda. Others such as Machaworks in rural Zambia and Zenzeleni Networks in Eastern Cape of South Africa provide similar services. These networks have been built by local communities to provide access to both offline content and Internet access where possible to the communities that they serve.

During a session at the 2018 Africa Internet Governance Continue reading